Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” – Luke 5:29-30

Jesus was always making religious leaders uncomfortable. To eat at the house of Levi with his guest list was scandalous to the Pharisees, because tax collectors were regarded as traitors to the Jews. They were notorious for using their position for personal gain and were seen as informants to the Romans. Are we willing to eat with scandalous people? If all our friends are Christian, we miss the path of the Master. The safe and sanitized bubble of today’s Christianity needs more dinners with tax collectors and sinners. Who are the tax collectors and sinners of your neighborhood? Do they like you so much that they invite you over to their place for dinner? Does that make you nervous? Jesus life challenges the Pharisee in all of us. He wants to lead us forward and outward with the love of God that has overcome the world.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

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